A comprehensive list of great topics and things to talk about with anyone, be it a girl you like, your girlfriend or wife, your friends and associates, or random strangers.
Don’t you just hate it when a conversation with someone putters out, and the two of you are left awkwardly sitting there as you try to figure out something else to talk about or, in extreme cases, an exit strategy?
As someone who has struggled with social anxiety for most of my life, I know that uncomfortable feeling all too well, and it’s something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Fortunately, I have overcome the dreaded awkward silence, and one thing I found that works wonders is always having a few good topics to talk about at the back of my mind in case my brain can’t come up with a great conversation-starter or follow-up questions.
Allow me to share with you what these topics are. This article is basically a cheat sheet of over 100 excellent topics and things to talk about with anyone so that you never run out of things to say.
Topics And Things To Talk About
It’s time to stock up on some useful things to talk about with the people you cross paths with. This comprehensive list was developed specifically to help you overcome any feelings of awkwardness, anxiety, or shyness you might have when starting or rekindling a conversation.
Pick and choose the ones you need for the current situation, and come back for the rest later.
Talk About Hobbies / Free Time
Hobbies and what someone does in his or her free time are excellent topics to talk about. Learning about a person’s hobbies can tell you a lot his / her interests, passions, and personality.
What is a hobby? Well, it is an activity someone does in his leisure time for pleasure and enjoyment. Examples include working out, photography, reading, and traveling.
If you’re looking for great hobby ideas to try, make sure to go over our ultimate list of 134 Best Hobbies For Men. You are bound to find something you like.
Here are 10 things to talk about regarding hobbies.
- How do you spend your free time? An excellent yet simple way to start the conversation. As an open-ended question, it allows the other person to respond in many different ways, and opens up opportunities for follow-up questions, such as…
- What do you wish you had more time for?
- What are some things you used to enjoy when you were younger or had more free time?
- Do you have any hobbies. If so, how did you get started?
- How long have you had your hobbies?
- Do you make money from them, or wish you could?
- Is it expensive to start and maintain your hobby?
- What misconceptions, if any, do people usually have about your hobby?
- Is there anyone else you know who has the same hobby? Are you part of a hobby club?
- Are you looking to start any new hobbies?
Talk About Work / School
School and work are two of the easiest topics to talk about because just about everyone is working and / or obtaining some kind of education.
In fact, few questions stir up a passionate conversation better than “do you like your job?” Hint: Most people don’t.
Conversations about work and school can be a bit too mundane and boring for some people, especially those you know, so try not to use them as a clutch.
Here are 12 things to talk about regarding the subjects of education and work.
- What do you do? (The simplest, most common way to start a conversation like this).
- If in school, what are you studying, and is it something you’re passionate about?
- If in school, what is your most (or least) favorite subject?
- Is your job something you enjoy doing or are you just doing it for the money?
- What did you want to be when you were a kid?
- If given a chance to be anything or anyone you want now, who or what would it be?
- What do you love about your work, and does it make your job worthwhile?
- What do you hate most about your job, and is there anything you’re doing about it?
- What would you tell your children if they decided to do what you’re doing right now?
- Would you choose an early retirement if given the opportunity? Why or why not?
- How well do you get along with your coworkers?
- If money didn’t matter, what would you do with your life?
Talk About Entertainment
TV shows, movies, books, video games and other forms of entertainment are very easy and safe topics to talk about. In fact, all you hear when walking around in public is people talking about one TV show or another.
The endless stream of fresh and new TV shows, movies, books, and games means the world of entertainment is ripe for great discussions.
Here are 12 things to talk about with your friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances.
- Do you play video games? (Gaming is a large part of many people’s lives).
- What type of music are you into right now?
- What is your favorite music, movie, TV show, game, and / or book?
- What song, movie, TV show, game or book do you think is overrated?
- Do you prefer fiction or nonfiction material?
- Which movie are you most looking forward to watching?
- Is there a movie, book, show, or game that you don’t want to admit to loving?
- Would you ever act in a movie or TV show if given the opportunity?
- If you could change the ending of any TV series or movie, what would it be, and why would you make the change?
- What are some of the shows that you wish never ended?
- Are there any movies or shows that made you cry?
- Are there any books, movies, shows, or games you would highly recommend?
Talk About Health And Fitness
The rising rate of obesity and cardiovascular disease all around the world makes health and fitness very important topics to talk about, especially with your family members and circle of friends.
The truth is that all of us can be healthier, but few of us are willing to put in the work. If you’re serious about getting into better shape, see our guide on the 20 Best At Home Workouts For Building Muscle, Burning Fat.
Here are 10 things to talk about when discussing the topic of health and fitness.
- How often do you workout, and where do you workout?
- How do you manage to include exercise into your busy schedule?
- What is your typical workout routine like?
- What are your favorite workout routines?
- Do you listen to music while working out? If so, what are your go-to songs?
- Are you doing anything else to take care of your health besides exercising?
- Do you follow any special diet or eating protocol?
- What health foods and healthy-eating rules do you swear by?
- What foods do you think people should stop eating right away?
- What is your primary goal for working out and eating well: Looking good or feeling good?
Talk About Technology
We are surrounded by technology, and our lives are dominated by it. This makes technology one of the easiest topics to talk about with just about anyone, especially millennials and Gen Z.
It might be a different case with Boomers, see as they are generally bad with technology and not up-to-date with the latest and greatest. Consider switching to another topic when what you’re talking about seems to be flying over their head.
Here are 12 things to talk about regarding technology.
- Are there any apps you can’t live without? What are your top 5?
- What do you do most of the time when on the internet?
- What is the longest you’ve been without your phone or the internet?
- Are you concerned with online privacy? Is the buzz warranted?
- Do you see yourself ever buying a self-driving car? Why or why not?
- How does the idea of people having romantic relationships with AI or silicon dolls make you feel?
- Do you think humans will be completely replaced by robots in the job force?
- Has a game ever ruined your social life because you were so addicted to it?
- Are you comfortable with the idea of smart homes? Why or why not?
- Beside games, do you think virtual reality is useful for anything else?
- What do you think about cryogenic freezing? Would you have your remains frozen and preserved for the future if the technology was affordable?
- In which areas of human civilization do you think technology still has a long way to go?
Talk About Food / Cooking
Food, drinks, and cooking are light and fun topics to talk about. Everybody eats, and most people enjoy talking about the things they love to eat.
If you’re conversing with someone for the first time, asking questions about food is a great way to make a quick connection.
Here are 12 things to talk about when discussing food and cooking.
- How adventurous are you when it comes to food?
- Do you prefer to cook or eat out?
- What are your favorite foods, drinks, and desserts?
- What is your favorite ethnic food, and are there any new ones that you want to try?
- What are some of the weirdest or most exotic foods you have tried?
- What is the worst-tasting food or dish you’ve ever tried?
- Do you have a signature dish, possibly one that no one makes better than you?
- What is your biggest cooking failure?
- What’s your idea of healthy food and drink?
- How do you usually find and pick good restaurants?
- Do they follow any specific diet, such a low-car, keto, or paleo diet?
- Do you have any allergies that prevent you from enjoying your favorite foods?
Talk About Travel
Many people like to travel, and it appears millennials in particular would rather travel than buy a home.
More than that, many of our most memorable experiences come from traveling, in large part because unfamiliar places and new and strange cultures tend to make a lasting impact.
Traveling is one of those exciting topics to talk about when you want to lighten the mood and have a good time.
Here are 12 things to talk about when discussing the places you’ve traveled or want to travel.
- Have you traveled anywhere interesting lately?
- What countries and cities have you traveled to?
- Where are you planning to go for your next trip? Why that destination?
- Where in the world do you wish you could go? What’s stopping you from going?
- What’s your favorite place you’ve traveled, and why?
- What’s the funniest experience you’ve had in your travels?
- What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you in your travels?
- Have you ever traveled alone? Why or why not?
- What do you like and dislike most about traveling?
- What was your biggest “culture shock” in another country?
- Do you try the street food in the places you travel? Any recommendations?
- Which place(s) are you reluctant to travel to, and why?
Talk About Past Experiences
Past experiences can be a great source of topics to talk about, but you have to be careful when talking about person’s past.
Some people can become guarded, so it’s usually not a good idea to get too personal too quickly when talking to someone you don’t know that well.
In many situations, you’ll want past stories to come up spontaneously as they relate to the topic being discussed instead of directly asking about them.
Here are 10 things to talk about when conversing about past experiences.
- Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?
- What were you like as a kid? (good-mannered, quiet, rebellious, etc.)
- Do you have any siblings? If so, did you get along with them when growing up?
- Find out if the two of you shared any interests or hobbies as kids.
- What has been your most memorable life experience, and why?
- Who would you say are the most influential people in your life, and what makes them special?
- What are five valuable lessons that life has taught you?
- If you could undo something from your past, what would it be?
- Have your life experiences made you a better or more miserable person?
- Do you have any life experiences that you think were not worth it?
- Is there anything you would never do, and why?
- If you could, is there anything you tell your younger self?
Talk About The Present Moment
People often desperately try to find random topics to talk about when they can’t start a conversation or keep one going. But often times, all they really need to do is take a moment to think about their current situation and take in their surroundings for inspiration.
Try to forget about the past, and put the future to the side. The current moment is all that matters.
Live in the moment. Here are 10 things to talk about as you assess your current situation and surroundings.
- You can start the conversation by asking the other person how they’re feeling and how their day has been.
- Turn the place you’re currently at (i.e. art gallery, networking event) into a topic of discussion. Why are you both there, and are you enjoying yourselves?
- Make a comment about the other person — perhaps a compliment about something he or she is wearing — and let a conversation build from there.
- Talk about what the people around you are doing. You can even turn it into a fun game, such as guessing what they might be like as a person or cooking up funny conspiracy theories.
- Is there anything new, different, or unusual about your environment that you can talk about?
- What is something fun and interesting the two of you can do right now?
Talk About Future Plans
Future plans often serve as an escape from regular life, and some people can talk non-stop about the things they’re looking forward to doing. It can be something as rudimentary as what they plan to do tonight, or more intimate like what their long-term goals are.
Indeed, inquiring about someone’s future plans can be a great source of engaging topics to talk about, but you have to be careful not to be too nosy or intrusive, or sound like you’re interviewing the person.
Here are 10 things to talk about when topics concerning the future come up.
- So, what are you doing this weekend? (A very common topic to talk about, and a great way to start a conversation with someone you already know).
- What’s your main goal right now? Is there anything you want to accomplish soon?
- If your life had no limits, what would you choose to have and what would you choose to do?
- Are you learning something new? Is there a new skill you want to learn?
- Are you planning to travel anywhere?
- Do you have a goal that can be done without money?
- What event or holiday are you looking forward to the most, and what are your plans for it?
- How are you going to celebrate your next birthday?
- What language, if any, would you like to learn?
- What would your life look like if you achieved your goals?
Talk About Family And Friends
Relationships and the interaction between people and even things make for very interesting and deep topics to talk about.
Why? It’s our relationships and social connections that give meaning to much of our lives, and none more so than the ones we have with our family and friends.
Also, knowing how to interact with people is necessary for getting what you want in life, as well as for your mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Here are 16 things to talk about when discussing relationships with family and friends.
- What is your relationship with your parents like? Are you close with them? Were they strict or easy going when raising you?
- How many siblings do you have, and what was it like growing up with them?
- Which family member would you say you are closest to?
- What are some of the most memorable experiences you’ve had with your family?
- Did you ever consider selling off a family member when you were a kid?
- What’s the biggest lie a family member told you that you believed for the longest time?
- How is your relationship with your friends? Are they similar to you and each other, or are you complete opposites?
- Have you had the same friends most of your life, or have you made a lot of new ones?
- Do you still keep in touch with your childhood friends?
- Have you ever cut off or disowned a friend for any reason?
- What are the craziest things you’ve done with your friends?
- What’s your advice for making genuine friends?
- Do you notice your circle of friends getting wider or narrower as you grow older?
- Is the quality of your friendships improving or deteriorating with time?
- Like most people, do you find making quality friends more difficult as you age?
- If you ever found yourself in trouble, which family member or friend would you go to first for help?
Talk About Dating
Dating is one of the hottest and most exciting topics to talk about among singles and even married couples. After all, guys like talking about women and women like talking about guys, if not more so.
The conversation could get very exciting depending on how open the two of you are and how far you’re willing to take it.
Here are 12 things to talk about when the topic of dating comes up.
- Start the conversation by simply talking about the opposite sex, and then follow up with specific questions such as…
- How did you meet your current partner or spouse?
- Have you ever tried online dating? What are your opinions of it?
- Do you think online dating is better than traditional dating?
- What do you think about long distance relationships? Can they work?
- What’s your best advice for finding someone to date?
- What’s the first thing you usually do on a date?
- What are some of the worst pickup lines you’ve used or heard?
- What has been your best dating experience?
- What was the worst date that you’ve ever been on?
- Which dating app or site would you recommend?
- What’s your advice for maintaining a strong and healthy relationship?
How To Pick The Best Things To Talk About
Whether you are talking with a family member at Thanksgiving dinner or chatting with colleagues at a work party, having some topics to talk about in the back of your mind can make your day a lot more entertaining.
However, just because we’ve given you over 100 different topics and things to talk about doesn’t mean everyone of them is suitable for every person or every situation.
Keep the following 5 tips in mind when selecting a topic for discussion.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you pick a topic to talk about, it helps to know a little about the person or people you’re conversing with. Every person is different, with some conversation techniques working better on some individuals than on others.
For example, you won’t get anywhere talking about financial stocks with six-year old children (they will simply get bored), nor is it wise to bring up something as contentious as politics and religion with everyone you meet.
Have an understanding of the person’s interests, personality and worldview, and pick your topics and questions accordingly.
2. Understand Your Setting
Setting, or environmental context, plays a very important role in effective communication.
Just like how you must understand the person you’re talking with, you must also consider when and where the conversation is taking place, as well as other factors like the time, weather, and temperature.
Is the topic too personal to be talking about in public? Is the middle of a birthday party really the best time to start talking about mass shootings?
You get the idea. Always ask yourself if now is the best time to discuss a particular topic or subject.
3. Keep It Simple
Choosing the topic is actually not that difficult. As you have probably noticed after going over our comprehensive list of topics and things to talk about, it doesn’t have to be super-interesting for you to spark an engaging rapport with the other person.
Just be in the moment, and see what comes to mind while considering the previous two points.
4. Dive Deep
Oftentimes, the reason conversations feel boring is because the participants are merely exchanging facts instead of actually diving deep into the topic of discussion.
For example, talking to someone about sports statistics is a lot more boring than talking to them about their favorite sports teams or players, or how playing your sports has influenced their life.
Conversations become more interesting when they are emotionally relevant.
5. Be Yourself
After finding appropriate topics to talk about, remember that being yourself when making conversation with people is the best thing you can do to be confident and relaxed.
If you’re nervous or anxious, accept the feeling rather than trying to fight it. Nervousness is something everyone deals with, even the most confident people, so don’t make it stop you from conversing.
And if you’re feeling insecure, know that the way you see yourself is often far different from how others see you. We tend to see ourselves through all our past experiences, but the people we talk to generally have no idea about our history.
Conversations tend to be more fluid, organic, and engaging when you’re being yourself and authentic to who you are.
Things To Talk About – Final Words
Knowing how to start and hold a conversation is one of the most important life skills you can learn. From job interviews to chatting with a girl you like, having a few topics to talk about can help you live a happy, more successful, and more fulfilling life.
We have provided you with over 100 topics and things to talk about so that you never run out of things to say. However, you have to be selective when using them.
When choosing a topic, always consider the kind of person you’re talking with and the setting in which the conversation is taking place. Not all topics of discussion are suitable for everyone or every situation.
Also remember to keep things simple and relevant. You don’t have to be rocket-scientist to make an engaging conversation.
Finally, be yourself when conversing. Don’t let feelings of nervousness or insecurities deter you from the discussion. Acknowledge and accept them, for even the most confident people sometimes feel nervous and insecure when talking to others.
That’s all there is to it. Now that you have an arsenal of topics and things to talk about, one that you can always revisit whenever you need inspiration, get out there and show the world how to make an interesting and engaging conversation!
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